Across 40 years in private business, Paladino has built a real estate development company which, in some of the most difficult economic periods of our life-time, has been the only private company building in Buffalo. Today, he directly employs hundreds of workers and provides work to thousands across New York State. His company controls a half billion in assets and, with a personal worth of $150 million, he has pledged to spend up to $10 million of his own money in his campaign for governor of New York. He is a Tea Party-endorsed who pulled off a major upset in the New York GOP Gubernatorial primary in 2010.  He lost to Democrat Andrew Cuomo by a large margin in the general election.
Prior to Election Day, Paladino participated in a debate involving all seven candidates on the ballot. He was by far the most socially conservative candidate, with the other six all supporting same-sex marriage, which had not yet been legalized in New York. One candidate, Jimmy McMillan of the Rent is Too Damn High Party (officially shortened to "Rent is 2 Damn High Party" due to exceeding the maximum character length), even stated that he supported marriage between a person and a shoe. Many viewers, however, argued that Libertarian Warren Redlich was more fiscally conservative than Paladino.